Grief can be painful and prolonged. But when is it time to see a grief counselor? There are many signs to know when you should seek professional help. This article will outline six possible signs that it’s time for grief counseling after a loss.
1. You’re Feeling Overwhelmed with Sadness
If you’re feeling overwhelmed after loss, you probably weren’t expecting so much grief to come your way. You weren’t expecting the pain. However, after the initial shock of experiencing loss, most people experience a period of sadness. The best way to deal with this is by spending time alone yourself. By being alone and reflecting on your loss, you will be more equipped to cope with the pain of loss later on in life.
2. You’re Having Trouble Sleeping
Many nights are spent awake, staring up at the ceiling due to the restless and turbulent emotions you’re experiencing. It’s easy to forget that your body needs sleep to function daily. Often people suffering from grief don’t sleep well at night mainly because they have lost their sense of self and security. This can be a scary time, and it’s not uncommon for people to feel guilty about things that happened leading up to their loved one’s death.
3. You’re Experiencing Nightmares
Nightmares plague some people who are grieving. These nightmares are a normal and expected part of the grieving process, but they tend to increase during this time. Due to all the “what-ifs” that you’re living with and all the things you’ve lost, it’s normal to experience some stress-induced and anxious dreams. If this is happening to you, it’s important to talk with someone about your dreams if they remind you of something.
4. You’re Feeling Very Irritable
When you’re having difficulty coping with the loss, you’ll feel irritable and almost angry towards the world around you. This is because you’re experiencing devastating emotions that are overwhelming your life. It’s a normal reaction to this type of pain, but it should never be acceptable. If your emotions become too much for you, seek professional help and talk to people who will understand how you are feeling right now.
5. You Can’t Stop Reliving the Death
It’s normal to keep thinking about the loss of a loved one. But if you’re unable to think of anything else and you’re preoccupied with only your thoughts and memories, it’s time to seek help. Sometimes this is referred to as “ruminating,” which is more like overthinking your pain and suffering to get stuck in a negative cycle where you’re constantly replaying in your head what happened leading up to the death.
6. Loss of Enjoyment
One of the best ways to spot when you need grief counseling is by noticing how much or how little you’re enjoying your life. Take a mental inventory of how you feel about yourself and how you feel about the world around you. Are there any major changes in your personality? Are there any major changes in your enjoyment of life? These are important things to monitor as they provide a great indication that something is wrong and that grief counseling will be needed.
When dealing with grief and loss, it’s easy to feel like there’s no way out. But if you can put aside your feelings for a little while and open up to others, you will see that there is always hope. You may not be able to erase the pain of loss quickly, but you can learn how to cope with it healthily.